Not even Judy Wangui Mungai could have imagined that her life would take the shocking turns and twists it has taken. The events of January 26 have also left the entire Judy Wangui family in utter shock.
A new report that appeared in Kenya’s leading newspaper, Daily Nation, Ms. Wangui rose from abject poverty, struck riches through a love affair with businessman Joseph Kori, before she was thrown into the limelight following the brutal murder of Kori’s wife, Wambui Kori Kamangara.
Unlike the riches that she has been used to, Wangui is today the main suspect in the murder of Wambui. She is expected to face murder charges, while her lover Joseph Kori is set to walk free. This is after compelling evidence showed that Ms. Wangui committed the crime. The same evidence also appeared to exonerate Mr. Kori.
Strikingly, the report in the Daily Nation has exposed the rise and fall of Ms. Wangui from poverty to riches, and now to murder charges.
Here is what the leading paper reports:
A week before she got entangled in actions that would leave her as the key suspect in the murder of her lover’s wife, Ms Judy Wangui Mungai took her son to live with her ailing mother at Gikure Village in Gatundu South, Kiambu County.
She enrolled the seven-year-old in a local private school. Her family did not make much of the action as she frequented home to take care of her mother with basic upkeep items and medication.
Ms Jane Wairimu is now at a loss to explain how her “God-fearing” daughter, Wangui, could be charged with the murder of Mary Wambui Kamangara, Joseph Kori Karue’s wife.
“My daughter is incapable of hurting anyone as she was brought up in a Christian way,” Ms Wairimu struggled to explain. She said her daughter had promised to relocate her from their rural home so that she can take better care of her.
Wangui’s family says she attended Gikure Primary School but did not go beyond Standard Eight. That contradicts earlier reports from her friends that she dropped out of an IT-related university course in the second year.
Until two years ago, Ms Mungai lived an ordinary life eking out a living by hawking boiled eggs, sausages and tea at a car wash in Thindigua along Kiambu Road.
To supplement her earnings, she cleaned muddy shoes for the car wash customers, charging about Sh. 200 per pair. Business boomed and she soon opened a wines and spirits shop targeting the motorists.
“She was like any ordinary woman you would find in the streets trying to eke out a living,” said a businessman who used to be her customer.
Ms Mungai was arrested two weeks ago in connection with Ms Kamangara’s murder at Four Ways Junction Estate along Kiambu Road where she lived. Mr Kori and car-hire businessman Michael Githae Mathenge are also in custody.
They are expected to be charged with murder today except for Mr Karue whose involvement detectives are yet to determine. Ms Mungai, some of her clients say, was a hawker before she started to make deliveries in a white Toyota Allion.
“I met her at an entertainment joint in Ruaka where she had gone to deliver shirts and trousers to a client. In our brief chat, she told me how she operated and that she lived at Thindigua,” said a woman who then also ran a similar business.
Those who know her say it is while operating at the car wash that Ms Mungai met Mr Kori, a businessman who turned her fortunes around.
She moved from Thindigua Estate where a two-bedroom apartment goes for between Sh. 18,000 to Sh. 30,000 in monthly rent and moved to the high-end gated community about three kilometres away.
At the new residence, where she is suspected to have lured Ms Kamangara to her death, Ms Mungai lived in a two-bedroom apartment at Daisy Court 4. Residents say the apartments go for Sh. 60,000 per month.
On her Facebook account under the handle Danyque Gabriel, she indicated that she was born on December 15, 1991, but shared very little about her background.
She would at times post photos of her and Mr Karue on Facebook, including of them on exotic tours in Malaysia and Singapore last year. However, when they shared the dock in Kiambu two weeks ago, Ms Mungai and Mr Kori seemed like strangers.